One of the most expected festivals in Barcelona is undoubtedly the local festival of this cute neighbourhood called Gracia (formerly a village, now part of the city of Barcelona).
What makes this festival so special is that all local people from the neighbourhood, people who were born there, families and friends who have lived there for all their lives, has been preparing for half a year all the ornaments they will decorate the streets with.
They have been doing it for ages organized in different street residents associations, and then their streets compete for the first prize. The streets are often decorated with recycled materials and each one has a different theme, which is chosen by the neighbours.
All the participant streets take this festival very seriously, as it is considered of National Tourist Interest in Spain. And they are really an amazing thing to visit. Gracia gets always crowded during the days of this festival, as it is not only beautiful and colourful but also very funny.
I’ll now give you some tips so that you can enjoy it fully and not end exhausted or too drunk too early:
There is a bar and a stage in every decorated street. The festival is all day long, not only at nights, so you can go in the morning as it less crowded to appreciate the streets more calmly and take some pictures, they can result in pretty funny ones!
Then around midday you can have the typical vermouth at one of the few decorated squares: Plaça Rovira i Trias. It is served with olives, cockles and chips.
The ambience is also very nice in the morning, more familiar and authentic, free from the multitude of people that will be coming from 7pm on.
If you have kids you can take them early in the afternoon to one of the activities of theatre, storytelling, water games or concerts for children that take place all around the neighbourhood. There are also cards and table games competitions (in case you are a pensioner).
When the heat gives a break (although this summer it’s been giving a break since it began) the real party starts. I recommend you to go early as at half past two or three everything closes down and the party ends drastically. So, around 7 or 8 pm it’s a good time to arrive.
You should look at the program and choose which concerts you would like to see. And if you have no idea which bands are playing, just relax and walk around, take a drink whenever you are thirsty in the multiple stands in the street (bars make special offers of sandwich and beer at very low prices) and enjoy the concerts you’ll be running into all the time every two streets.
Very important: wear comfortable shoes, light clothes which you don’t care getting dirty and try to have your Barcelona apartments near, as the underground closes normally at 12 am –except for Saturday, that goes all night long- and I guess you’ll be tired to walk anymore or that you won’t feel like to pay for a taxi.